Lady Billies advance to sectional finals
by Jerry Fekete
MAN — Tuesday night’s win by the Man High School girls’ basketball team over Sherman was like two wins all rolled up into one.
The 52-22 victory at home at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse over Sherman in the Class A sectional tourney not only moved the Lady Billies into Thursday night’s finals at Tug Valley.
It also automatically advanced Man to next week’s regional tourney regardless of the outcome with the Lady Panthers.
Man (14-8) was led by sophomore Mika McCoy in the win over Sherman as she poured in 21 points. McCoy nearly outscored the entire Sherman team which only managed 22 points the whole game.
It was the third win this season by the Lady Billies over Sherman. The Lady Billies had won 64-54 and 59-26 earlier in the season over the Tide.
“We played well and we had a lot of intensity,” Man coach Tonia Ward said. “I’m proud of the girls. Mika got a lot of putbacks and everyone played well. Jennifer Shull and Morgan Conn took care of the ball. Taylor Whited also had a lot of offensive rebounds and stick backs and Summer Sword hit a lot of free throws. We now have to get ready to go on the road Thursday and play Tug Valley.”
Man and Tug Valley split in two meetings this season. The Lady Billies won 67-51 on Jan. 24 at home and lost 65-54 on Feb. 4 at Naugatuck.
Tug Valley (14-8) advanced to the finals with a 58-32 sectional win over Montcalm. The Lady Panthers are on a roll heading into the championship game as Tug Valley has won five in a row and six out of its last seven.
Summer Sword and Taylor Whited each reached double figures in scoring on Tuesday night with 12 and 11 points respectively. Hannah Harvehy had four, while Jennifer Shull and Morgan Conn had two each.
Sherman only had three girls reach the scorebooks. Jordan Lewis had 15, Mackenzie Smith four and Sarah Massey three. Sherman closed out the season 8-13.
Man led 12-5 after one quarter, 23-7 at the half and 38-18 after three.
After a 2-2 tie, the Lady Billies went on an 8-0 run to take a 10-2 advantage at the 3:22 mark of the first quarter. McCoy hit a 12-foot jumper and Whited added a runner in the late during the run. Sword also netted four free throws.
Sherman cut it to 12-7 in the second quarter as Smith opened the stanza with a pair of free throws.
It would turn out to be the only points of the quarter for the Tide as Man scored 11 straight points to take a 23-7 halftime lead.
McCoy had five out of the 11 points during the run on a 3-pointer and a backdoor cut to the basket. Harvey added two hoops during the span.
In the third quarter, the Lady Billies built their lead to 15 points at 25-10 on an inside-the-paint shot by McCoy with 5:56 to go.
Man pushed its lead to 31-15 midway in the quarter on a basket by Whited.
The Lady Billies extended their lead to 20 points at 36-16 on a fast break layup by McCoy with 40 ticks on the clock.
Man led by 20 after three quarters and pushed the advantage to 42-18 in the fourth after an offensive putback by Sword and another McCoy hoop.
The Lady Billies then breezed in the final minutes.
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